#2020Wrapped: A Year In Review

2020…. What a year, am I right?

With the year coming to a close, we hopped on the Spotify #2020Wrapped bandwagon to bring you Circus Social’s very own 2020 Wrap-Up.

From launching fresh features in 20/Twenty to brand new product offerings, check out some of our highlights and most memorable moments below:

Infographic: Circus Social's 2020 Wrap Up

Missed out on any of our infographics or reports? Fret not! Visit our website to download our free reports, or scroll through our blog to view our infographics.

PHASE 3: Too Soon, or a Long Time Coming?

Christmas and New Years’ may be around the corner, but something else has been causing a stir on social media: Phase 3 of Singapore’s reopening.

Despite recording little to no community cases in recent months, Singapore has continued to enforce restrictions on social gatherings, adopting a phased approach to returning to pre-COVID.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong recently announced the highly-anticipated Phase 3, which drew a mixed bag of reactions from netizens – similar to what we found on social media during Phase 2.

Using social media data captured by our social listening tool, 20/Twenty, we uncovered the top reactions and sentiments of netizens towards Phase 3. Although the easing of restrictions brought about feelings of excitement and gratitude, netizens also raised concerns about the welfare of migrant workers, who continue to be under tight restrictions.

Read on to find out what else netizens had to say:

Phase 3 Infographic: Social Media Buzz & Sentiment

[Infographic] Mental Health In Singapore Amidst COVID-19

The stigma surrounding mental health has been especially prevalent among Asian communities, where conversations are typically not approached and are considered taboo. In a 2020 study conducted by the Institute of Mental Health, some of the causes of stigma were identified as negative portrayals in the media, a lack of understanding, as well as cultural influences.

With the onset of COVID-19, many experienced unforeseen challenges that have gradually led to a better understanding and awareness of mental health in Singapore. During this time, Samaritans of Singapore noted an uptake in calls to their support hotline, with many seeking help for issues stemming from unemployment and isolation.

In light of this, Circus Social wanted to uncover online conversations and sentiments around mental wellbeing in Singapore. Using 20/Twenty, our social listening and monitoring solution, we analysed social media conversations to answer the following questions:

  • What types of mental health issues are discussed on social media?
  • Where are conversations about mental wellbeing typically discussed?
  • What do people identify as the key factors and triggers of their issues?
  • How different are the issues discussed by men and women?

Check out the infographic below to learn about the key findings from Circus Social’s newest report: Uncovering Mental Health In Singapore.

Infographic: Uncovering Mental Health

Interested in reading more? Visit our website to download your complimentary report. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Circus Social’s Insights team at insights@circussocial.com.

If you or someone you know needs support, here are a few helplines that you may reach out to:

Samaritans of Singapore: 1800 221 444

Institute of Mental Health: 6389 2222

Singapore Association of Mental Health: 6389 2222

For a more extensive list of helplines, please visit https://www.gov.sg/article/call-these-helplines-if-you-need-emotional-or-psychological-support

3 Reasons Why Social Listening Is A MUST For Marketers

Whether you’re a digital marketer tracking the launch of a new product or a content creator looking to up your game, the primary goal of any marketer remains the same – to promote a product or service to a target audience with the ultimate goal of driving awareness and sales.

To do this, marketers previously needed to invest in costly tracking tools and research programs. However, the advent of social listening has made it possible for marketers to monitor campaign performance, get consumer insights, source new influencers, and much more – simply by tracking mentions of a particular topic of interest on the internet.

Read on to find out how the role of a marketer can be made more manageable with the help of social listening.

Campaign Tracking & Reporting

Digital marketers who run marketing campaigns understand the importance of tracking conversions, CPCs, CTRs, and other quantitative metrics – but how sure are you that these are the right metrics to measure success? While generating traffic or making sales are great performance outcomes, it’s important to dig deep into the organic conversations as well.

Social listening provides marketers with an insight into:

  • Key conversation themes being discussed: What kind of conversations is your campaign driving among audiences?
  • Overall sentiment: Are there any aspects of your campaign, brand, or product that may be receiving negative sentiment? What are these negative sentiments in relation to?
  • Campaign share of voice: How much more or less is my campaign being talked about online in comparison to my competitors’ campaigns?
20/Twenty Social Listening Tool: Sentiment Charts

At the end of a marketing campaign, having a combination of qualitative and quantitative insights will provide more holistic learnings that can be integrated into future marketing campaign strategies.

Content Marketing

Gone are the days when marketers could rely solely on their sixth-sense and gut feeling to direct their content strategies. Given the time and resources it takes to develop content, why wouldn’t you want to ensure that it’s engaging and relevant to your brand’s audience?

Social listening offers content marketers a wealth of data to get inspiration and ideas from, such as user-generated content and viral content.

User-Generated Content

Coming up with fresh content can be a daunting and lengthy task, especially if you’re feeling uninspired. What could be a better way to promote your brand or product, besides leveraging on existing content created by your own consumers? By using social listening to track what consumers are sharing about your brand or product, you’re bound to find high-quality photos, videos, or reviews that can be re-shared on your brand’s social pages.

Trending & Viral Content

Once upon a time, memes and viral videos were only circulated on social media by the average person. Brands have since recognised the engagement and interest driven by these memes, hijacking them and creating marketable content out of it.

Take the 10 Year Challenge for instance – what started as a challenge for individuals to share side-by-side photos of themselves 10 years apart, became an avenue for brands to show how they have evolved (the glow up of the Xbox controller), or remained the same (like Lego).

Xbos & Lego's 10 Year Challenge

But how can you stay on top of trends? And more importantly, how do you know if a trend is worth riding on? The 20/Twenty social listening platform offers some useful features to determine if a trend may go viral:

  • Impact Score™: Circus Social’s proprietary algorithm that assigns scores to online content depending on the volume and type of engagement received. The higher the Impact Score, the more engaging the content is.
  • Virality™: A predictive feature that uses advanced machine learning technology to identify content that is already viral, as well as content that is likely to go viral. If you spot content that is likely to go viral, it may be worth leveraging on it.

In addition to the above metrics, our Trendspotting Checklist is another great way to assess if, and when, your brand should hop on a social media trend.

Influencer Identification

With the rise of social media, celebrities are not the only ones brands are engaging for endorsement. Consumers are now looking to online influencers for product information, and these advocates definitely help nudge purchase decisions. Despite numerous studies supporting the impact of these online personalities in driving conversions, most brands lack a data-driven approach in the selection of their influencer community.

There are many layers to consider when qualifying an influencer, and since most of their content is on social media, social listening comes in handy for marketers who wish to discover and track their online performance. If your brand is just starting to leverage influencer marketing, your team will likely find themselves asking “Who should I engage?” and “Where can I find them”?

Step 1: Quantitative Analysis

The first step is to explore the digital ecosystem and narrow down who are the main personalities driving conversations in your industry, what their persona is, and if it fits your brand proposition. Metrics to consider include:

  • Impact Score™: A proprietary algorithm that assigns scores to online content depending on the volume and type of engagement received. The higher the Impact Score, the more engaging the content is.
  • Engagement scores (likes, shares, comments, views): Influencers with high engagement metrics such as likes are great, but individuals with more comments and shares are indicative of a stronger engagement with their followers.
  • Overall post sentiment: If your influencer is driving more negative sentiments than positive, they may not be the best fit for your brand or product.
20/Twenty Social Listening Tool: Influencer Identification Chart

Step 2: Qualitative Assessment

Once you have qualified prospective influencers based on digital metrics, the next step will be to deep-dive into their posts and conduct a qualitative analysis on their page personality, content, and overall alignment with your campaign objectives. Even if you are only engaging the influencer for a short period of time, their profile and identity outside of your campaign will shape consumers’ perception of your brand. 


If you have any questions or are interested in finding out more about how marketing teams can leverage on social listening, drop us an email at insights@circussocial.com and we’ll be in touch!

Why Social Listening Is A Must-Have For PR Teams

In today’s world, the role of the PR practitioner is constantly evolving and involves so much more than press releases, press conferences, and managing crisis situations. From competitive analysis to tracking brand health, the day-to-day responsibilities of a person in Public Relations & Corporate Communications can be made much more manageable with the help of social listening.

Not familiar with “social listening”? Read our Introduction To Social Listening before proceeding!

Crisis Monitoring & Management

From unsatisfied customers to social media blunders, most brands are bound to experience a crisis situation at some point. However, what can make or break a brand’s reputation is how the crisis is dealt with. Before formulating a plan of action and crafting up a response, it’s important to first get the facts:

  • Who is talking about it?
  • What are they saying?
  • Where are these conversations happening?
  • Why do they feel this way?

Having a good social listening tool on hand will allow you to keep track of the relevant conversations and answer all of the questions above, providing you with the insights needed to manage the crisis.

Staying on top of every single mention can be time-consuming, which is where alerts come in handy. Our social listening tool, 20/Twenty, offers users the ability to easily set up real-time alerts to keep you updated when developments occur. There’s a wide range of real-time alert options available for you to choose from. Some of the most important alerts we recommend for PR teams include:

  • Negative Sentiment Alert: Be notified when conversations with a negative sentiment exceed a certain threshold
  • Influencer Alert: Stay updated if an influential person with a significant number of followers has mentioned the crisis
  • Engagement Alert: Receive a notification if a mention garners a high volume of engagement

Measuring Public Relations & Corporate Communications Efforts

A lot of resources go into launching a campaign or introducing a new product, which is why it’s so important to measure the impact of these efforts. Social listening can help uncover how much interest a campaign is getting, how many people are talking about it, the sentiments behind these mentions, and much more.

In addition to tracking mentions, 20/Twenty’s Insights section displays important metrics to understand how a campaign has performed. Some of these include:

  • Volume of Conversation: How many people are talking about it?
  • Conversation Themes: What are people talking about?
  • Conversation Sentiment: Are people reacting in a more positive, negative, or neutral manner to it?
  • Channel Analysis: From Facebook to Blogs, which channels are most of the mentions coming from?
  • Share of Voice By News Sources: Which media publications have shared the most coverage?

The Conversation Over Time chart displays positive, negative, and neutral conversations over a period of time. Want to find out more about peaks in conversations? Simply right-click on any point and you’ll be able to view the actual conversations in the platform.

Conversation Over Time Chart in 20/Twenty Social Listening Tool

Competitive Analysis

Ever heard of the saying “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer”? If you’re not currently engaged in competitive analysis, chances are your competitors are already keeping tabs on you. While it’s crucial to listen in on what your consumers are saying, it’s equally important to keep an eye (and ear) on your competitors’ organic conversations.

Social listening can provide brands with competitive insights such as:

  • Campaign Performance: How well do competitors’ campaigns perform compared to your brand?
  • Brand & Product Sentiment: What do competitors’ consumers think of their brand and product?
  • Social Media Engagement: What kind of social content generates the most engagement for competitors?
  • Share of Voice: Which competitor has the largest share of voice in the market?

The Share of Voice chart in 20/Twenty is particularly useful when comparing the volume of organic conversations across competitors. In the chart below, it is evident that Shiseido is driving the most conversations.

Share of Voice Chart in 20/Twenty Social Listening Tool

If you have any questions or would like to find out more about how Public Relations and Corporate Communications teams can leverage on social listening, reach out to us at insights@circussocial.com and we’ll be in touch!

Social Listening VS Social Monitoring

Social Listening VS Social Monitoring

So what does adding the word social do to their meanings? 

Social Monitoring

The act of social monitoring is when you recognise and react to brand mentions on social media.

This could be answering queries through a customer service representative, interacting with consumers on social media through a social media manager, or taking note of pain points your customers usually experience with your product. Social media monitoring is more of a reactive approach. Pringles is a brand that engages in this, by regularly responding to consumer queries and feedback on social media sites such as Twitter:

Pringles Brand Twitter Page

Social Listening

The act of social listening, on the other hand, is when you gather data from and extract insights around:

(a) Organic brand mentions
(b) Organic industry mentions
(c) People organically sharing an opinion about your product or your industry/ competitors 

With social listening, you do not necessarily have to react by personally responding to these mentions. Instead, you proactively try to find learning points from the myriad of data you’re gathering. You also look at data from a much broader perspective compared to social monitoring. Some examples include trend-spotting, pattern recognition, and consumer insights, which can then be translated into better marketing & content strategies. 

In essence, social monitoring is a subset of the broader social listening process – the former as a goal of enhancing engagement with their current consumers, while the latter is an analytical effort to make more informed decisions & strategies for the brand moving forward.

Should I Monitor or Listen?

It’s important to note that there is no “better” option between social listening and social monitoring. While your business may have long-term goals such as establishing a strong brand image, achieving this also requires meeting short-term goals such as maintaining positive brand sentiments through continued customer satisfaction.

Social monitoring is great for staying on top of customer questions, complaints, or feedback, but social listening looks at the bigger picture and can provide insights into your consumers and competitors that you may not have been looking for.

If you’d like to find out which technique (or both) is best suited for your brand, feel free to reach out to us at insights@circussocial.com.

How Do Social Listening Tools Work?

First things first – Social listening is the process of finding out what people are saying about a particular topic, brand, personality, etc. online. (You may read our previous blog “Social Listening 101” to learn more. You may also be interested in this interesting discussion on social media monitoring). In a very basic sense, social listening can be done by searching for keywords in the search bars of social media sites and manually checking through the post results:

Searching for posts on social media sites

While this sounds easy enough, it’s an incredibly tedious method and will not give you the full picture of what online conversations around a certain topic are about. That’s where social listening tools like Circus Social’s 20/Twenty come in handy. 

What do social listening tools do?

Simply put, social listening tools work like a Google search engine, displaying mentions of a keyword or topic from social media sites (like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit), blogs, forums, e-commerce, and product review sites, among many others. It’s important to note that only public posts are legally allowed to be crawled by social listening tools. If you come across a tool that provides private data, it’s probably been generated through illegal means. Circus Social works with reputable data providers and social media platforms to gain special access to public data. This is done after going through extensive reviews to ensure your private data is not accessed and personally identifiable information is not extracted and available.

How is data obtained from these sources?

Data is primarily obtained through data partnerships with companies such as GNIP (Twitter data provider), Facebook, Google, and many other sources. In addition to this, Circus Social has proprietary data crawlers that capture public data on blogs, forums, and websites via RSS feeds or APIs.

How can social listening tools find relevant mentions?

Searching for data in social listening tools such as 20/Twenty is done using keywords. If you want to find out what people are saying about iPhones, simply type in the term “iPhone” and online posts containing this term will appear:

From #iPhone to Apple phone, there are so many ways in which iPhones are discussed, which is why you need to include other relevant keywords when conducting a search. This is called a Boolean query, which is a combination of words and operators. There are a number of operators you can use to make your search term more robust, but these are the most common ones:

Circus Social's Boolean Operator Guide

So how can we improve our search for mentions of iPhone? We can use a Boolean query like this:

iphone OR “#iphone” OR “#iphoneSE” OR “#iphone11” OR “#iphone11pro” OR “#iphone11promax” OR ((apple) AND (phone OR cellphone OR mobile))

By adding a few more keywords and Boolean operators, our search results increased by more than 2,000 mentions:

Searching for keywords on 20/Twenty

We hope that our simple explainer of how social listening works has piqued your interest! Check out the video below to see what else is possible in 20/Twenty.

If you’d like to learn more about the data 20/Twenty can track, feel free to reach out to us by email at insights@circussocial.com or contact us here

Social Listening 101: Why Is It Important?

Social Listening

What is social listening? 

Sounds like something scary? Like your every move is under surveillance and is being listened to? No, no, not at all. This article aims to clear up such misunderstandings and tell you more about social listening, and why it’s important for all businesses – big and small.

Social listening is a form of digital intelligence that tracks publicly available information and conversations in an effort to understand what your consumers’ preferences are. This can be found in various forms (not limited to) such as public online forums, influencer blogs, Facebook comments, news articles, etc. 

Now why is that important?

In 2019, a study reported that there are 3.96 billion people on social media, with each user being active on an average of 9 social platforms. With the current accessibility to the internet and a growing youth population, you can expect an even greater increase (19%) for unique netizen growth. Essentially, you are looking at the world’s largest data group for businesses to tap into for insights and information. 

Here is a generic overview of why social listening is important for your business. (We’ll cover some topics in more detail in our upcoming blog posts – stay tuned for more!)

1. Consumer & Audience Insights

Surveys, focus groups, and feedback forms are great ways to obtain consumer feedback… But what about what they’re saying behind your back? From Twitter to online forums, social media is where most of your consumers’ conversations are taking place. Through social listening, your brand can easily keep track of all these conversations in one dashboard, and uncover what they love, hate, and can’t stop talking about.

The Word Cloud in 20/Twenty is a great way to find out what people are discussing around a topic of interest:

Word Cloud from 20/Twenty - Social Listening Insights

2. Campaign Tracking

There’s no way to prove success unless you can measure it – which is why it is so important to be on top of your campaign performance. CPCs and CTRs may be useful when you are considering digital metrics, but what about the nuanced details that will help ensure the success of your next campaign? Social listening can help answer some of the most important questions about your campaign’s performance, such as:

  • How many people were talking about the campaign?
  • What did people say about the campaign?
  • Did the campaign generate more positive, negative, or neutral sentiments?
  • Which channels were most of the mentions coming from?

3. Competitive Tracking

With competitive analysis and research, one of the most important figures is Share of Voice, to uncover which brand is driving the most conversations. This is the closest way to track market share which makes it critical in assessing your efforts.

One of the many features 20/Twenty offers is the ability to compare the estimated reach, number of mentions, and volume of engagement across different brands. In the chart below, we can see that Chanel has surpassed Dior and Estee Lauder, having a much wider reach and generating the most organic mentions.

Leaderboard & Health Chart in 20/Twenty - Social Listening Insights

4. Industry & Market Trendspotting

Sharing content solely around your brand or products is not enough to keep audiences engaged. Brands are now leveraging on trending content such as the 10 Year Challenge to boost engagement and maintain relevancy with audiences. While most brands play catch up and jump on a trend as it’s peaking, wouldn’t it be more efficient to identify emerging trends before they go viral – keeping your brand ahead of the curve?

While you can pay someone to continually look through social sites and update you with the latest trends and memes, having a social listening tool that updates you on trends that matter will make the content creation process much easier.

For more tips on what trends are worth riding on, check out the trendspotting checklist we curated! Hit 6 out of 10 and you’re good to go.

5. Influencer Opportunities

When it comes to purchasing a product or switching brands, people no longer rely on just advertisements or product reviews. Influencers have become one of the top sources that consumers go to before making a purchasing decision.

If your brand is already engaged with influencers, social listening can help you keep track of the content being shared, and to assess the effectiveness and ROI of each post. Alternatively, if you’re looking for influencers to collaborate with, social listening can identify influential people in your industry who may or may not be talking about your brand or products.

6. Crisis Management & Prevention

From negative reviews to social media blunders, crisis situations like these can make or break a company. Ensuring you have social listening set up is essential to stay on top of negative sentiments about your brand, campaign, or products. After mitigating the issue at hand, you are even able to track the changes of the conversations to ensure everything is handled.

Ultimately, social listening and intelligence can be used in a breadth of situations in order to track and analyse your company’s key objectives. It’s functionality and deep pockets of data can prove invaluable to any company. If you want to find out more, reach out to us at insights@circussocial.com.

TikTok Myths Debunked With Social Listening: Myth #5

Before we delve into the last myth we uprooted with insights from social listening with 20/Twenty, refresh your memory on the first 4, starting with Myth #1: “TikTok is only popular in the West”.

MYTH 5: “Brands can’t track their ROI from TikTok campaigns”

Not anymore! Despite being late to the party, TikTok has recently decided to open up its API integration. This is huge news for a number of reasons:

  • Ability to track and measure the performance of owned content
  • Gain consumer and audience insights by tracking what TikTok users post
  • Staying updated on the latest trends and viral content – allowing for social listening
  • Content inspiration for brands and influencer
  • Influencer identification by spotting engaging content

Key metrics that can currently be pulled in from TikTok include engagement data points such as likes, comments, shares, and views, as well as some information on the post’s author. Our social listening tool, 20/Twenty, helps users make sense of this data in the form of charts and graphs. Using the Conversation Over Time graph available in our Insights section, you can easily pinpoint the days when conversations around a topic of interest spike – indicative that something may be trending.

Social Listening - Conversation Over Time chart - tiktok

Want to compare the volume of conversations on TikTok to other online channels? Our Channel Analysis section offers just that.

Social Listening - Channel Analysis chart-tiktok

Now that we’ve debunked all these myths, don’t you think TikTok is a social media platform worth considering in your upcoming business strategy?

If your brand is already working with TikTok, wouldn’t it be great to have all you need to know about this and other social media platforms in one complete dashboard? Circus Social has recently integrated TikTok as a core platform enabled for full social listening in 20/Twenty.

If you have any questions about tracking TikTok or would like to find out more about 20/Twenty, reach out to us at insights@circussocial.com.

TikTok Myths Debunked With Social Listening: Myth #4

Haven’t read up on the first 3 myths uprooted with social listening? Check out myth 1, 2, and 3 before reading ahead!

MYTH 4: “Promoting your brand on TikTok is a waste of resources”

False! Unlike other social media platforms, TikTok’s algorithm works to promote organic content that is engaging. For instance, if someone makes it through your entire video (which is a strong testament, in this day and age), it will be recommended to four other viewers. This opens up massive opportunities for brands to get on top of the curve – and all it takes is a smartphone and a creative mind.

Fenty Beauty actively posts on TikTok at least 4 times a week, ranging from product swatches to tutorials and comedy skits. One of their best performing posts in July was a best-practices makeup tutorial that was relatively easy to create with little to no post-processing. (Learn how you can track this and more with social listening, here) By having the person in the video apply her make-up while speaking directly to viewers, this gave the video an organic feel. Adding catchy and trending tunes in the background was also a great way to engage viewers.  This video was viewed over 100,000 times and received 19,000 forms of engagement. Most commentators appreciate how easy the guide was to follow, and also shared their own makeup routines.

Social listening - Person doing a makeup tutorial

Fun fact: Jacob Pace, the CEO of Flighthouse, an entertainment brand and production studio, noted that when people try to learn a dance from TikTok, they need to watch the video numerous times. These repeated views are the reason why TikTok continues to recommend dance videos so often. Stay tuned for more insights uncovered on TikTok with social listening from 20/Twenty.

Check out the next interesting myth about TikTok we blasted right here!